A Breakdown of Man City's UEFA Victory

Bring on the Champions League

"Manchester City FC did not disguise equity funding as sponsorship contributions but did fail to cooperate with the UEFA authorities," the Court of Arbitration for Sport wrote in a statement.

The court's decision states that City's exclusion from participation in UEFA competitions has been lifted, but the club have been fined €10m. The four-time Premier League champions were set to pay a €30m fine and face a two-year ban from the Champions League and Europa League and the Super Cup (if they were to win the Champions League this season).

However, after their appeal from February 14 concluded on July 13, Pep Guardiola's men will now be able to play in the Champions League next season having already sealed a route there through a second place in the English top-flight.

City will have to pay the €10m fine within 30 days and, ironically, this small amount will be nothing for a club of such great wealth and be paid with ease.

It's not over JUST yet

Truth be told, if you're a City fan, you can count this one out and prepare for another two seasons in the Champions League. However, UEFA can still appeal the club's appeal, which says more about this peculiar situation than you will ever need to know.

Reports have suggested that a further appeal from UEFA is 'unlikely', but the organisation will still be able to battle this if they want to. Although, considering it took many months to conclude the first appeal, it's doubtful UEFA will want to continue this and simply let bygones be bygones.

In the coming days, this will likely conclude absolutely. The Champions League and Europa League are set to continue and finish in August, and it's doubtful UEFA will want to carry this fiasco on into such an unprecedented time for them.

Yes, City have got through this one and will be able to play Champions League football in the next two seasons as it stands. However, it isn't completely finished just yet and City fans need to watch this space carefully over the next few weeks in case another appeal from UEFA comes there way.

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Fifth no longer a entry to the elite

In all of this, there are clubs within the Premier League who have been hard done by. A fifth-placed finish is not a normal entry route into the Champions League and the only time a team outside the top four made it was when sixth-placed Chelsea won the Champions League in 2013.

For this reason, clubs competing for fifth shouldn't be too disheartened at not obtaining Champions League football, as it was never an honest route anyway. However, for the fans of Sheffield United, Wolverhampton Wanderers and perhaps the north London sides, this is a sickening defeat.

Currently, at the time of City's UEFA victory, Wolves are in fifth with the Blades just a point behind just as Spurs climb within three following their north London derby win. This now means their hopes of securing a route into the elite competition via fifth is over and they must overcome a rampant Manchester United to secure a top four spot.

At the same time, Chelsea and Leicester City are sill in with a shout, of course, and those below them really don't stand much of a chance in breaking down the barrier they have formed this season.

This does still mean that fifth will obtain a Europa League spot, whilst clubs as low as seventh and six could get themselves into the Europa League, depending on how the FA Cup, Europa League and the Champions League unfolds.

For example, should Chelsea drop as low as fifth, but win the FA Cup, they will make it into the Europa League, as will whoever finished in seventh place.

What does this mean for UEFA and FFP?

It's incredible how many people still don't understand Financial Fair Play (FFP) as it is, and this is why European football finds itself in such a mess, as nobody seems to understand what they can and can't do.

Quite frankly, how have Paris Saint-Germain been allowed to spend over £400m on two players within one season? How were City allowed to spend over £1bn in just a few seasons after barely spending more than £30m in a single season once upon a time? Nobody seems to know how when the rules clearly express that clubs are only allowed to spend £5.6m more than they earn in across three years.

UEFA repeatedly state how FFP does work well for clubs in debt, expressing how in 2011, clubs across Europe lost £1.6bn due to debt, but this was overturned into a £500m profit just six years later. With this said, FFP is here to stay and clubs will continue to find loopholes around sponsorship deals and transfers until the end of time.

Plus, knowing City the way we all do, it wouldn't be a surprise if they were to bag United target Kalidou Koulibaly for £100m pretty soon to compete with Liverpool again, for example.

In truth, we do have to question the sporting integrity of this ruling and ultimately take it back to the age-old question: is it fair? Is it truly fair that a club can spend so much and get away with it when there are clear boundaries being breached, with regards to the sporting morals clubs boast about.


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